Passionate about photography? Looking to turn that side gig of taking gorgeous pictures into a lucrative career?
Working as a photographer can be an incredibly rewarding path since you get to capture some of life’s most beautiful moments and create irreplaceable art.
But, there’s a huge difference between having it as a passion and actually turning photography jobs into a career.
Interested in learning more? We’ve got the ultimate guide for making your own sustainable photography business.
Let’s get into it!
Narrow Down Your Field
If you plan to become a professional photographer, you need to have a specific niche or focus. This will help with both your portfolio and with increasing expertise in your specialty.
Some specific photography jobs include:
Portrait Photographers: These photographers specialize in “people” pictures. They might be wedding photographers, school picture photographers, or family portrait photographers. They might focus on single headshots, like Alan Howard Photography, or large group scenes. Many of these photographers freelance, which means they provide all their own equipment and do their own pricing and billing.
Photojournalists: Photojournalists combine news with pictures, capturing newsworthy events, politics, and people for various sources of news (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
Commercial & Industrial Photographers: These photographers take professional pictures for businesses, often for marketing or media purposes. Depending on the client needs, they might take all sorts of different pictures, ranging from landscapes to various buildings to specific merchandise.
Learn the Basics
There’s a lot that comes with the perfect picture, and none of it has to do with luck.
All photographers must first learn how to see. Maybe it sounds intuitive, but everyone with photography jobs knows it’s not. When you learn how to see, you know the basic elements of photographic art. You understand color, balance, composition, and repetition.
You know how to use these elements to create the perfect picture.
Some people can learn photography basics through self-learning guides or the Internet. Others might want to consider taking special classes or training to fine-tune their skills.
Invest in the Right Equipment
They say a man is only as good as his tools, and this philosophy does carry some weight with photography jobs.
Now, that’s not to say you need to instantly drop ten grand on new equipment before even getting your business off the ground.
But, as with any successful business, you will need to invest in some start-up capital. The right equipment moves you from amateur picture-taker to engaging in high-profile photography jobs.
While options can feel overwhelming, there are several useful guides for getting started. Determine your budget and get shopping!
Those with successful photography jobs tend to have one skill in common: they like to learn. They like to read, watch, and study other artists and reflect on their work.
They attend trainings, seminars, and workshops whenever possible. They work with mentors and critically evaluate their own work.
Photographers know that their skills and success do not just exist in a vacuum. They know that it is a continuous practice, an act of self-growth and lifelong learning.
If you’re a novice, absorb as much as you can. And, if you’re on your way to “expert status,” you’re still not exempt from this rule. Learning makes you stronger, and it helps you see things from multiple perspectives. Don’t take that for granted!
Practice, Practice, Practice
As a photographer, you’re lucky in the unique sense that the world is quite literally your canvas. This means you have ample opportunity to practice doing what you love at any given time.
What’s the takeaway here? You need to be ready at all times and have your camera ready. Take LOTS of pictures. Don’t let any opportunities pass you by.
Now, here’s the hard part: don’t be too critical at first. It’s easy to beat on yourself, but resist the criticism. Accept your mistakes and your learning process. Learn how to give yourself feedback.
Eventually, you will learn to become highly picky about your work. When that happens, you will learn how to discard anything that doesn’t feel “right.”
Create a Killer Portfolio
As a photographer, you need an engaging portfolio, one that makes your work feel unique, irresistible, and inspiring!
If you don’t already have a shiny, aesthetically pleasing website, you need one- yesterday! If you don’t know how to make a jaw-dropping website, this will be an area to consider outsourcing.
Remember, your portfolio is your ultimate marketing tool. You don’t want to take any chances of your audience feeling either overwhelmed or underwhelmed by your website.
Another rule of thumb: identify the purpose of your portfolio. You don’t want a bunch of random pictures thrown together. It should look seamless and coordinated with a particular audience in mind. A cohesive and consistent theme makes your work look a lot cleaner and looks much more pleasing to the viewer’s eye.
Even after you think your portfolio is up to par, get feedback from 2-3 honest peers. This can help you identify any weak spots or red flags.
Today, raw talent isn’t enough to succeed in the highly competitive creative industry. You need a reputation and branding. What does that mean?
Not only do you need a beautiful, captivating website with a killer portfolio, you also need to be active on social media.
Learn the basics of SEO in social media marketing. Get active on Instagram and Pinterest. Show your pictures off on Facebook. The world needs to see your work! Photos tell an invaluable story, but your customers need to be able to find the story in order to feel inspired!
Final Thoughts on Photography Jobs
Turning your passion into a career can be one of the most exciting choices you ever make! Be patient with your process and have fun learning along the way.
At Working Home Guide, we’re passionate about building your own brand. We cover everything from organizing your personal finances to setting up your dream home office.
For more tips, suggestions, or general feedback, please contact us here today!